On Homelessness by Arlene Antoinette

smelly,
dirty,
shameful,
a disgrace
these words are
spoken behind my back
and sometimes
yelled in my face

i’m so lonely,
is there no one
to see,
this dirty
homeless bundle
is a person
aching to
feel real

lazy,
no damn good
not worth the
time,
they blame
me for my
circumstance
no consideration
of my struggles
or my fragile mind

i was once like you,
i had dreams
and plans for my future,
but mistakes caused
missteps that changed
fates hands

i’ve become a nuisance,
like spilled garbage
laid out on the street
you turn away,
avert your eyes
so, my gaze you
won’t accidentally meet

i have become invisible
yes, i’m the invisible man
unwanted, despised, dejected
does anyone care who i really am?

 

 Bio: Arlene Antoinette believes that everyone has a voice that needs to be heard. Please read her other poems @ I am not a silent Poet, Tuck Magazine and Little Rose Magazine.

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And Liberty said…, by Pamela Ireland Duffy

Who punishes a mother
with her children’s tears?
Who puts a little child
into a cage?
Who are the cage makers
the child breakers?
Is this America?

Cry me a lullaby for innocence
sing me a hymn to liberty
fly freedom’s banner
on your prison camps
tell me your wall
will make me free…
I don’t believe you.

Bring me your parents
and your grandparents
the hopeful souls
who came before you
as migrants to this land
and ask them
hand on heart
“Is this America?”

Choose, by Pamela Ireland Duffy

What maggot eats
a human heart
that it would follow
willingly
a sly pied piper
peddling old lies
who wears the flag
like a cheap salesman’s smile?

What dark music
draws us on
cheering and chanting
in an insane dance
towards a truthless land
where fear and hatred
are the people’s daily bread?

Already unseen hands
tap out orders
as behind the wire
faceless guards
take children
from their mothers.

Who perpetrates
such acts of separation
from their own humanity?
It could be any one of us
when the only choice
is guard or prisoner.

Choose.

We are not there yet.

Choose now
before the gates close.
Choose to defend
the hard won freedoms
that are every human’s right
before law dances to the piper’s tune
and fear trumps justice
and betrays the just.

Choose to resist
the piping pedlar
he is the reaper in disguise.

Choose to hold on tight
to your humanity
wear it like a hazard suit
around your heart
for you will need it.

Those who would buy their freedom
with the suffering of innocents
sell everything a human heart holds dear.

Marilyn, by Jonathan Jones

$This is my silencer.
$This is my passport.
$This is my stolen car.
$This is my sweet tooth.
$This is my chainsaw.
$This is my mountain.
$This is my coat of arms.
$This is my railroad.
$This is my paycheck.
$This is my ghetto.
$This is my gold mine.
$This is my blood test.
$This is my faded tan.
$This is my win-win.
$This is my tailspin.
$This is my violin.
$This is my Marilyn.
$This is my blindfold.
$This is my tightrope.
$This is my prairie.
$This is my [Answer B]
$This is my pool hall.
$This is my record deal.
$This is my church of Christ.
$This is my stage door.
$This is my honeymoon.
$This is my lynchpin.
$This is my spare bill.
$This is my old car.
$This is my new car.
$This is my puncture.
$This is my alias.
$This is my lying tongue.
$This is my lying tongue.

This is my sentence.

Filibusting & Gerrymandering, by Bob Beagrie

“I would fain know what we have fought for, and this is the old law of England and that which enslaves the people of England that they should be bound by laws in which they have no voice at all.”
Thomas Rainsborough, The Putney Debates, 1647

…They were told, above all
that they would be able to pass
Laws independently
and in the interests of
the people of this country…

Except for those who find themselves:
in homelessness
in poverty, detained
relying on food banks
under sanction and
those engaged in all kinds
of untoward shenanigans…

…This campaign should be about
opportunity and hope,
to be more nimble and dynamic,
a chance to do things differently…

We all begin on a level playing field
of burning injustices,
walk among the wastelands, slums,
leafy suburbs, ivory towers
and heaps of broken images…

…And what we are looking at
is measures to….
hang on a second….
address some of these issues…

…but the dream is dying.
The Government has a song to sing
but the words stick in my throat…

We are talking about
the tactics of survival
the hungry rumble,
the cardboard mattress
under the flyover, the hole
in the shoe where puddles seep in…

…We are sending our vanguard into battle
with white flags fluttering above them…

But help is at hand,
another user friendly website
will help identify the symptoms,
even ease some of the pain…

…The current strategy
is an absolute stinker –
The Common Rulebook
is a polished turd.

Pathogen, by Bob Beagrie

“Thy subjects blood
With fire and sword
Cries vengeance Lord.”

Parliamentarian motto from ‘The Great Eclipse of the Sun’, 1644.

“Hate begets hate;
violence begets violence;
toughness begets a greater toughness.”

Dr Martin Luther King, 1958

 

like someone forgot to turn the key, shoot the bolt,
guard the cage door and now its loose, running wild,
raging on pent-up retribution for its incarceration;
not hiding in the undergrowth, a hole in the ground
but behind a look, beneath a word, within a promise
travelling in a crowd forming clusters along chains
of transmission, hitchhiking on breath and bodily fluids,
a stowaway in an attitude, an illegal immigrant riding
the virulent fear of itself gone viral, breaking-out
with a swelling of symptoms: the sharpened accusations
of ‘susceptibles’, slammed doors, raised voices, dog shit
through the letter box, broken windows, burning homes,
a contagion of tears, smoking guns, targeted spot-checks,
round-ups, stretched necks, tightening nooses; spreading
its invisible infection from host to vulnerable host
through mounted charges, routs, panicked retreats,
infiltrating the blood, penetrating the lymph node,
concealed there, trafficking pathways of incubation
through dendritic and monocyte cells; the brain’s
blockades breached, the heart besieged, kinship ties
in tatters, trust a looted keepsake; corrupting all it
touches, draining its juices, carts piled with cadavers –
Bring out your dead!
Bring out your dead!
Bring out your dead!

The Burnings, by Bob Beagrie

“The whole village was roused; some fled, some attacked me,
until, grievously bruised by stones and many other kinds
of missile weapons, I escaped to the open country…”

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein – 1818

 

The monster recalls the Godly mob
ablaze with righteous indignation
at indulgences wilfully practiced
under licence of permissible leisure;

pointing the finger, stabbing the sky,
lighting torches, spitting shrapnel,
igniting The Book of Sports
in preparation for wayward bodies,

to reform the borders of acceptability,
rectify the correct codes of conduct,
to take back control, and thereby hand
it over to our duly elected legislators

deemed above all to know best
through disguised impartiality;
so, she kept her pretty head low,
held her breath in the priest hole

flinched as they tore down the May Pole,
up-turned the market stalls, bellowed
for blood, she spied devils in their frenzies
‘though they claimed to do Christ’s work.

..

Bob Beagrie is a widely published poet living in Middlesbrough. Most recent collections include ‘This Game of Strangers’ – written in collaboration with Jane Burn (Wyrd Harvest Press 2017) and ‘Leasungspell (Smokestack Books (2016). He is currently working on his forthcoming collection ‘Civil Insolencies’ which focusses on events in the North of England during the British Civil Wars, while drawing parallels between the world turned upside down and our own turbulant times.

A selection of soundscapes from Civil Insolencies can be heard at https://soundcloud.com/user-635052693

Sad Day Blues, by Tony Frisby

I need sad days to write sad words
and deaths to rhyme of death
floods to speak of horrid waves
and the drowning of children
the nothingness of floating dolls
and blinded fools upon the stage
fill my page.

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-trial-runs-for-fascism-are-in-full-flow-1.3543375

Love Trumps Hate/Mae Cariad yn Trechu Casineb, by Dave Rendle

July 13th is coming
Catch a bus and protest
Greet orange man
With  freedom’s voice
Cast out intolerance
That is accountable to no one
Flaming and flaunting intolerance
Daily releasing sad delapidation
Let’s weave together in unity
Be a speck that proudly stands
Sing together with one voice
Our bubbles shifting together
Hands together, raised high
Cries refusing to be silent
Collectively not frightened
Speaking in different tongues
Against racism and bigotry
Offering no welcome
To a narcissistic clown
Our love will triumph hate
Against a narcissistic clown.

I would say to you this…, by Cath Campbell

I saw a photo in the paper,
you running naked, your dress blown off.
Because you were covered in dust 
you seemed not injured,
I thought,
until I caught
your frozen eyes,
raised skyward,
lost in the inferno back the way you’d come,
careering out of the molten fire town,
flying on spindly child legs,
your mouth a cavern that roared its fear.

That was over forty years ago.
Burned history still maps your skin.
Dustless, I imagine you are a mother
and a grandmother, that you laugh a lot,
chat with friends,
walk the green love light avenues,
and only on occasion
does your mind go back to the day you faced the devil.
Whether theirs or ours,
you were too young to know,
and, anyway, all planes
have the same underbelly when birthing bombs.

Walls, by Geraldine Ward

You will not hide behind these walls forever.
The cave you are concealed in does not want you.
The place that veils your face wants to see you sing, reveal your voice, your wonder to the world.
The skies were made for you to reach, the stars to bathe you in the glory of eternal sunset.
You are not made to travel light of burden,
but must leave cosmic footprints for others to follow after.
The footholes you create when you trample through mistakes are simply dustings of snow upon mountains.
When the avalanche comes and the walls cave in will you still stand tall against the wind?
I can tell you tales of children who have been forsaken and separated from their parents
while the powers that be revel in their Trumphalism or like his wife just don’t care.
These are not tales, but reality made bare, flesh, skin, blood.
While you hide behind your wall,
your towers a fallacy,
fake news reality.
I breathe the fresh air made stale by omnipotent leaders who think they are there by the grace of God.
Yet they live behind their walls and towers.
If only true justic would subvert their power.
One day the dream will be here.
It’s up to us to rise above our own walls
and speak out for what is right.

Persecution, by Geraldine Ward

Her eyes are windows to a world of change and heartache,
echoes as the wire fence divides,
around the perimeter her children.
She cries unheard tears as she is frogmarched away by immigration.
to a place where she sits silently waiting for her plea to be heard.
But there is no counsel or lawyer to take up her cause.
Just the law which sides with the oppressor.
The enemies come from within.
Are God’s people even listening?
America, Great Britain no longer understanding the need of the refugee.
Her crime, yet more punishment for a life of persecution.

Atonement, by Geraldine Ward

‘Atone for your sins,’
He said as he raped her.
‘Pray to God for your life,’
As her hands were tied
And she was led blindfold,
shuttled into the truck.
When she arrives in America
she is greeted by cold hands,
hearts who gather her
In and separate her from her children.
She still weeps and prays
But who hears her now.
Who dares to care for her?

First Call to Samaritans, by Helen May Williams

Can you hear me alright?
Is this a safe place to talk?
Can I tell you anything, things I can’t tell my mother?
Can I share my innermost feelings with you? Are my secrets safe with you?
Can I say all these terrible thoughts, and know they’ll never come back to haunt me?
Can I share with you, a total stranger, things I could never tell the family?
Can I keep on talking, about all this stuff that’s on my mind?
I’m sure there’s other people you need to talk to rather than me.

Right now, you’re the only person that matters to me.
Please tell me more about all that stuff on your mind.
Please tell me those things you can’t tell the family.
Because I’m a stranger they’ll never come back to haunt you.
Your secrets are safe with me.
I can hear you alright. I’m listening attentively.

..

Helen May Williams formerly taught at the University of Warwick and has written extensively on twentieth-century poetry. She runs the Poetry Society’s Carmarthen-based Stanza. The Princess of Vix, is published by Three Drops Press. Her book of mainly haiku, Catstrawe, is due for publication by Cinnamon Press in 2019. She blogs at helenmaywilliams.wordpress.com and edits https://poetsandpainters.rhosygilwen.co.uk/poems

Football’s Coming Home, by Stella Wulf

Researchers at Lancaster University studied incidents of domestic abuse during World Cup matches in 2002, 2006 and 2010 and found a 38 per cent rise on days when the England team played and lost, and a 26 per cent rise when England won or drew – Newstatesman
..

You’ve been practicing how to pitch it
since you lost the first round; since
I take you, and, to have and to hold,
bitch, became his anthem.
..
Despite your best defensive moves,
pre-empting kick-offs, fending fouls,
obeying rules, you’ll still be beaten.
There are no equalisers in this mismatch.
..
You’ve learned not to tackle,
playing for time in the corridor
of uncertainty. This is a home game,
he’s in possession of screen and beer.
..
You huddle on the sidelines, sick
with fear that you’ll be picked on.
A poor substitute for the real thing,
you don’t bounce back. A skin sack
..
with the air kicked out concedes.
He inflates your uselessness with lager shots,
conflates your existence with bad luck,
pumps himself into a premier striker.
..
It’s a game of one half, the playing field,
uneven. You’re getting trounced.
The penalty – extra time for injury,
it’s his set piece – he’s bringing it home.

Chained For Seeking Refuge at A Port in the Storm, by Roberta Monokroussos

Star-spangled banner
denies asylum-seekers’ 
entry to its ports
Lady Liberty laments
human rights viewed as a crime

A woman’s heart breaks
children’s endless howling tears
followed by deep grief
Country’s acute injury
Does it need dialysis?

poem by Bengt O Björklund

down by the pick pocket market again
delivering free contact and smiles
reloading day’s opportunity
amongst the lost and the slow dyeing

redemption is not an option here
where salty winds carry dead women
on their broken shoulders
there’s a tilt towards the distant sea

rich men rumble with binoculars
fastened to their wallets
there’s no magic carpet for the poor
there’s no such thing

ripped and wired to the end
clocked and seeded
I do remember the beginning
before the I bubble burst

Show Me (the Art of War), by Jen Littlesthobo

Show me when you paint,
How it’s cheaper to use blood than oil.
Show me how you paint a street with a gun,
Then draw the chalk outline later.
Show me the colours of the rainbow,
In oil-tainted drinking water.
Show me how pipelines can predict the longevity of a community,
More accurately than the heartlines you excavated to make space for them.
Show me how you turn villages into pyres,
Bedrooms into coffins
And mother’s hearts into shrines.
Show me the family trees you’ve felled
To make way for new borders.
Show me how you stack a million displaced people,
Without bringing down the house of cards.
Show me the fountains pumping sea water,
You’ve drained from the lungs of refugee children.
Show me how you strip a culture of everything
And then then take it’s pride.
Show me the craftsmanship it takes,
To then banish that culture to the history books
And reduce their libraries to ash.
Show me how no-mans land,
Came to you in a dream
You had to share.
Show me all the limbs you have made phantom
And your archive of incomplete skeletons.
Show me how PTSD wasn’t in your original design,
But you rebranded it “Serendipity”.
Show me how a flag looks more beautiful
Wrapped around a body,
Than it does in a breeze.
Show me the music a man makes,
When you run an electric current through his body.
How at the right frequency,
His feet will tap a rhythm on the tiled floor,
His voice will sing against it’s will.
Show me what you find aesthetically pleasing
About the shape women make,
When they fold in on themselves
Begging for their lives.
Show me the nuances,
Between the sound of a woman screaming
When she buries her youngest son
And the sound of a woman screaming
When she is being raped.
Show me how you make chandeliers
Of children’s bodies hanging from trees.
Show me the finesse it takes,
To shatter hearts so precisely,
The pieces don’t fit back together.

You said you would show me the Art of war.
But I don’t see it.
Art is what we create
In the wake of it.

Trump Baby, by Antony Owen

For Debasis Mukhopadhyay

Baby,
to scale sky, I will happily give you my breaths
take them baby and rise over English hedgerows where migrants nest safely
think of them as walls separating the otherworld to false heavens, cast the angels out.

Baby,
to scale palace, church, mosque, synagogue and the black honeycomb of Grenfell
think of these things as valuable as Lord Sugar tweets a joke you would love about Senegal.
Take all of these riches. our stars, the stripes of an airliner heading to Mexico, dusks blood anthem.

Baby,
There is a Nicaraguan man invading someone’s space in Camden Fried Chicken but its all good,
He was offered a seat by a Canadian woman and they really hit it off I think they’ll make love,
She will grab the back of his head and they will kiss like interracial humans and she will be with child.

Baby,
Let the wind be your weaning, the Palestinian boy yelling for peace your meaning
Let the senate of my lips on my lovers be a parliament of lovemaking like lennon and yoko
Fly Trump baby, fly into a pylon ring and let the iron man explode with your empty insides of boom.